A bothersome observation


As we finishing celebrating the 4th of July, something occurs to me.

As we look with fondness on the founding of our nation, It bothers me, how much we in the IT field are doing (both willingly and unwittingly) to undermine the very freedoms it was founded on.

Yes, I’m going to be a Donny Downer here for just a bit.

We read about the whistle blowers and the spying and the lying occurring in the Federal Government. The NSA spying on U.S. citizens without warrants, covert intelligence programs and clandestine military operations and secret courts, all designed to “protect” us against terrorism. You can’t look at CNN or any other news outlet without seeing something along those lines.

The general erosion of our rights and freedoms in this country disturb me. Greatly.

It also bothers me that the same people that are near riot stage anytime someone threatens to restrict the 2nd amendment don’t get just as mad when some politicians blatantly ignore other amendments. I’m mean really? Are the others not as important? What about the 4th? The 5th? Heck…that pesky 1st Amendment. Do none of those matter as long as each citizen is allowed to purchase an assault rifle and a couple thousand rounds of ammo?

Apparently.

We in IT need to accept a small share of the responsibility for this.

As we develop systems that house more and more data, are we asking our selves, what could happen to all this data?

Are we looking at the potential for abuse, not just from criminals and greedy corporations, but our own government?

I’m not so sure we are.

As IT professionals, when we take a job, are we even questioning the requests we get from our supervisors?

A former employee of mine used to question data delivery and usage all the time. It got to be a bit of a joke between he and I. While I respected him, he also frustrated the heck out of me.

Today, over the past few months, I’ve come to have a new respect for him.

Today, I wonder if we, in the IT world, don’t need to start looking more at what we do for the sake of the “why” and not just the “how” or “can we”.

I suspect we are on a slippery slope, and I don’t see the politicians fixing it anytime soon.

Not really sure what we can do, but we can at least ask our selves if we are doing things because we “should” or because we “can”.

There is a tremendous difference.

I think we owe it to the Founding Fathers.

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